A couple of days ago our group showed off some of our research during TEDx Glasgow University. It was a fun experience. We don’t often get to engage with a non-academic audience so it was refreshing to chat about future technology with non-computing scientists. I came away from the demo session feeling inspired and with some fresh ideas about where to take my research.
I presented a gesture interface for mobile phones, using around-device gestures as input. People seemed to find this modality particularly attractive for use in the kitchen, when hands are often full, wet or messy. I was also showing how wearables could be used alongside mobile phones. People seemed to enjoy the novelty of this, although understandably there was some doubt about having to wear another accessory (alongside fashion items like watches or bracelets). I definitely feel that future wearables need to be designed with fashion in mind so people want to wear them as accessories first and interfaces second.
Inevitably someone mentioned interfaces found in Minority Report and Iron Man – I hope HCI finds ways to inspire people’s imaginations about interfaces of the future in the same way that Hollywood has.